The stranger’s name was Dexter. He was an older male, reserved, quiet and wary of others. I tried to be friendly but he seemed completely disinterested in any conversation. At one point he even turned his back towards me to get his point across. Finally, I relented and left him alone. Dexter was an attractive, tie-wearing yorkie with missing teeth.
His owner, on the other hand was very chatty. Like Dexter, he was an older gentleman that went everywhere with his tiny companion. I asked how he chose a yorkie and he said he didn’t, his wife had brought it home unannounced a long time ago. He went on to share she had died of cancer and now he and Dexter were as thick as thieves. He got teary after I told him she was better off than us. He said she had told him that exact thing from her hospital bed. It was obvious he loved her dearly.
Somehow I began sharing with him how overwhelmed and stressed I was taking/sending four college students back to school while working my job. From their car tags, utilities, rental agreements, packing, shopping, etc. I was completely spent. (At some point during this conversation, Dexter, the dog, turned and faced my direction.) Surprisingly, the gentleman told me, “Quit your bitching. That’s what moms do.” He went on to tell me that one day I will miss all this chaos. I told him that I wasn’t sure I liked that and that maybe I just needed a mulligan this time. He smiled and said, “Moms always get mulligans.” About the same time, Dexter crawled into in my lap and rested his little head in the crook of my arm to go to sleep.